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Monday's Three Astros Things

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Talking about projected standings, the Vandy potential draftees and the NL/DH debate...

Some things to talk about while I wonder about this rattlesnake roundup...

1) The projected standings

Oh yes, it's very nice.

The Astros have made it over the hump. After Sunday's victory over the Athletics, they are now projected to get to .500 for the season at 81-81. That assumes some negative regression for the pitching staff (which I don't agree with, but that's for another article).

Of course, their ridiculous .611 winning percentage currently is unsustainable. No team in the American league topped that mark last year and only the Angels won 60 percent of their games.

What we can see is that the Astros start hasn't been lucky. After adding actual major leaguers to the lineup, things are clicking for this squad. It still has a chance to take off, but for now, your Astros are the AL West leaders.

Houston hasn't finished April with 11 or more wins since 2008 and hasn't finished the month with a winning record since 2006.

The Astros have given up 67 runs this April. The fewest they've allowed in the season's opening month in the past decade was 80 in 2005. While there are still four games left this month, the Astros have Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel pitching in two of them, so there's a good chance they top that mark.

In contrast, last year's Astros gave up 142 runs in 28 April games. So far, they've cut about a run and a half off that total, which is showing up in a big way in the win column.

2) Klaw on the Vandy kids

Lots of good stuff in this post by Keith Law on the Vanderbilt players who could go in the first round of this draft. It's an insider post, so I won't excerpt from it. But, let's say he's more of a fan of Dansby Swanson than Carson Fulmer.

If you want to add fuel to the fire that Houston will end up with one of the Vandy guys this year, Law also notes that Jeff Luhnow was at the ballpark this weekend to watch them.

What's interesting about Law's analysis of Fulmer is that he thinks by his body type, Fulmer will end up as a reliever. Astros fans are familiar with this talk, as it led to teams passing on 5-foot-10 Billy Wagner back in the day.

It also was a reason why Roy Oswalt didn't get a look before those spark plugs super-charged his arm. Oswalt is listed at 6-foot, 190. Fulmer is listed at 6-foot, 195.

For whatever that's worth.

3) The DH in the NL

Some of you may not remember this, but the Astros used to play in the National League. In said league, teams do not use the designated hitter.

The details are murky for me, too.

At any rate, those in the National League still see their pitcher bat like a heathen. This also leads to some bad situations, like Adam Wainwright being lost for the season.

Craig Calcaterra argues, like many other have recently, that the NL should adopt the DH and unify rules across baseball.

Instead of asking you what you think of this, let me put it to you another way. If the Astros were still magically in the NL, if Bud Selig hadn't ruined all our fun, would you have accepted the addition of the DH? If Houston got to play with the Cardinals and Pirates and Cubs, but got to use that extra hitter instead of the pitcher, would you still be upset? Or was the DH a big piece of the reason why you were mad about the league switch?